What goes up must come down. (Roca Quemada, Chirripó.)

Toll booth waiting spot, route 2.

On Sunday, February 26, 2023 a small group of us headed up to the Grano de Oro alti-plano above La Suiza, Turrialba. I love this route. It is so picturesque, with quaint little communities along the way, hugged by the lush green flora of the Turrialba area. The orange Poró trees were on their last days of blooming (which means next year I hope to go a week earlier). At one point the coffee flowers filled the air with their lemony scent.

The tour was led by my friend Fabricio (left). That is his small store in Eslabon, Turrialba.

Under skies that threatened rain, we headed up and up. This route is hard packed gravel, with several messy curves. It has lovely views at the top (though we did not stop for photos).

Grano de Oro is a small Cabecar indigenous community in Moravia, Chirripó, Alta Talamanca, Limon. For me, it is an odd feeling to find this flat altiplano up in the mountains.

We then headed down to the Chirripo river, to Roca Quemada. The first part of the road is in great shape, lovely gravel.

Until one starts going down, down, down, down, and down! Hahaha! I admit I got nervous as we traversed the first steep downhill section, which was rocky and a bit rutted, to a view point where we stopped briefly. I was worried about riding back UP since I have had trouble this year with sharp, uphill turns on gravel. The rest was just as steep, but a bit less rocky, though still with a lot of loose material.

Fabricio and I made it down to Roca Quemada. (A few had opted to not go down, and Juan Carlos and Anthony had gone down and up on thier own.)

This road down is quite steep, presently has a lot of loose gravel, and has a few curves. Some steep parts have been paved. As I wrote to my friend Dave, it is not as steep as the route to Polka, which was terrifying for me, not as many hairpin, downhill curves as San Francisco de Leon Cortez, and the rocks are smaller than the ones on the way to Quetzal. I was too anxious to go check out the hanging bridge. 😦 Bummer.

I did take a photo of Roca Quemada (burnt rock), but it turned out blurry.

Truth is, I actually came down without any problem and was glad I made it up without any problem. (Grin.)

It was good practice for me to ride up this challenging route, as I tried to figure out which gear worked better — second or first — and practiced standing up on many of the sharp curves, which makes it much easier to do. For some reason, I don’t always stand, which makes no sense. Oh well. I have noticed that I progress in my riding skills and confidence slowly, one year at a time. 🙂

It was another thrilling adventure with a great group of riders!

Thanks once again to my kind friend Fabricio for another wonderful adventure in the Turrialba area!


Feb. 26, 2023

Song: What goes up, must come down.

Wikiloc: Grano de Oro Roca Quemada

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